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Toilet training for night time

How to toilet train your child at night and what to do when your child wets the bed

Toilet training usually starts around 2 to 3 years. Toilet training takes time - you need to be patient and encouraging.

Once your child can control their bladder during the day, it usually takes a few more months before they can control their bladder at night.

How to start toilet training at night

When you notice your child waking up dry for 3 to 4 weeks, you can try night-time training.

Getting your child and their bed ready

Put a mattress protection cover over the mattress. Let your child know that it doesn’t matter if they wet the bed.

Drinks before going to bed

Encourage your child to drink plenty of water or milk only. Avoid fizzy drinks, tea and coffee as they stimulate the bladder.

Your child should drink 6 to 7 good-sized drinks throughout the day and up until bedtime.

There is no benefit in stopping your child drinking after 6pm. It's bad for your child's bladder and can dehydrate them

Night-time routine

Make sure your child goes to the toilet before they go to sleep. A regular bedtime routine will help encourage a healthy pattern of sleep and helps your child to become dry at night.

Going to the toilet during the night

Make sure the toilet is easy for your child to reach at night. You may need a night light to help them find the toilet if they wake at night to go.

Lifting a child out of bed to go to the toilet late at night is not a great idea. They are sleepy and this doesn't help them develop control over going to the toilet themselves.

After your child has wet the bed

If the bed is wet, involve your child in changing the bed and night clothes.

Try to reassure your child that they've done nothing wrong.

Encourage your child to shower or bathe in the morning to avoid having wee on their body. Wee can sting, cause infection and the smell can be embarrassing for your child.

When will wetting the bed stop?

Many young children stay dry all night with no problems and few accidents. But most children are not dry every night before their 5th birthday.

15% of 5-years-olds wet the bed from time to time. Even after the age of 5, occasional wet beds are common.

Remember that toilet training takes time. It's very important for you to be as patient and encouraging as possible. Praise their effort and not the result.

If you need any extra support contact your local public health nurse. If you're worried about bed wetting in your child, talk to your GP.

Page last reviewed: 14/11/2018
Next review due: 14/11/2021